Thursday, 17 October 2019

Penblwydd Hapus - Happy Birthday

Penblwydd Hapus - Happy Birthday

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Family Life

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Honeymoon in Pontnewydd

Honeymoon in Pontnewydd

Pontnewydd has lots going for it, I'm the first to say so, but honeymoon destination is not something that springs to mind! Yet, on September 29th 1903, two lovebirds had their Pontnewydd honeymoon cut short when police arrested them on suspicion of theft.

The Evening Express (30/09/1903) told its readers:

A HONEYMOON ARREST - Joseph Franks, a Jew, and his wife, Elizabeth, were arrested at Pontnewydd on Tuesday on a charge of stealing a gold chain value £10, and £20 in money. The parties, who were married in London on Saturday, were staying at the house of a relative when arrested. It is alleged that the watch and money were taken from the house of another relative in London.

Other newspapers elaborated on this; Elizabeth Wilson was a Pontnewydd native, the daughter of mason Thomas Wilson and his wife Hannah who lived at #5 Grange Road, Thomas Row, with their many children. (See census for 1891, 1901, 1911.) Elizabeth moved to London to work in service, and there she met Joseph. Following a short courtship Elizabeth married him at Brixton Registry Office on Saturday September 26th, giving her name as Ethel May Maclaren for reasons best known to herself. Afterwards they returned to Joseph's sister's flat at Cleveland Mansions on Chapel Street and, when she went out, stole £20, a curb chain, and a Kruger sovereign. When Hettie Franks returned the pair had disappeared, having gone to Pontnewydd to stay with Elizabeth's parents - until they were arrested with the curb chain and £17 in their possession.

Cleveland Mansions
The scene of the crime! This is Chapel Street, renamed Mowll Street in the 1930s, as it looks today.

On October 3rd the Weekly Mail continued the story:

ESCAPE OF THE MALE PRISONER - The prisoners, in charge of a Metropolitan constable, started for London on Wednesday, and when at Newport Railway Station the male prisoner gave the officer the slip, and the latter was obliged to go to London with only one prisoner.

Joseph dashed across the railway lines and left the police at a loss until an unnamed Italian man went to Porth police station on the Friday [Oct 2nd], and told them he had just travelled from Cardiff with a man who was boasting of his escape from the police. They went on to arrest him at Hafod where he was trying to get work at a colliery. The Gloucestershire Echo reported that he 'stoutly resisted arrest'.

October 10th saw Franks back in the newspapers, the Cardiff Times reported:

ALLEGED THEFT OF MONEY AND JEWELS - At Lambeth Police Court on Saturday Joseph Franks (24), described as a wood carver, was charged on a warrant with being concerned with his wife, Elizabeth Franks (19), now under remand, with stealing £20 and some jewellery belonging to Hettie Franks, of Brixton, in the early part of the week. The prisoner and his wife, it will be recalled, were arrested at Pontnewydd, where they were said to be spending their honeymoon.  
They were handed over to Detective-Sergeant Hawkins and Detective Hunt, of the Brixton police, for conveyance to London. At Newport it was necessary to change trains, and the male prisoner then succeeded in getting away from the officers, and making his escape. The detectives were compelled to come to London with Mrs Franks only. On Friday Franks was recaptured at Hafod, the arrest being affected by the local police. He was again handed over to Sergeant Hawkins, who safely brought him to the Metropolis. 
In giving sufficient evidence to justify a remand, Sergeant Hawkins stated that when told the charge the prisoner replied, "The £20 I stole because my sister would not pay my fare to Canada. The gold watch did belong to me, and I gave it to my brother, who is dead. While I was away in prison she took possession of it." 
Mr Hopkins remanded the prisoner until Wednesday, when he will be brought up in company with his wife.
If you hadn't thought Joseph was a catch before, his previous prison sentence at Parkhurst has surely convinced you! ;) This is likely to be our man below, listed in the 1902 and 1903 Habitual Criminals Registers, and I think this article might describe him and a friend being tried for pick-pocketing in August 1898.

Joseph Franks 1902
Joseph Franks 1903

The Penny Illustrated Paper brought the story to a close on October 17th:

There was a pathetic scene at Lambeth Police Court when Joseph and Elizabeth Franks, who were arrested while spending their honeymoon at Pontnewydd, Mon., were charged with stealing money and jewels from the former's sister, Hettie Franks. Mr. Armstrong, who appeared for the defence, asked Miss Franks if she really wished to go on with the charge against her brother. Miss Franks thereupon burst into tears, and exclaimed that she did not. The magistrate [Mr. Horace Smith] discharged Elizabeth Franks and bound the male prisoner over. Upon leaving the court the latter was rearrested on another charge.

Elizabeth and Joseph Franks at Lambeth Police Court

I'd love to know what happened to them after that but I haven't had any luck picking up their trail as yet!

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Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Moli - the Cow Who Moo She Was Different

Moli the Cow Who Moo She Was Different

Last week Anthony went to the launch of Moli - the cow who moo she was different! It's a children's book designed to raise awareness and improve understanding of the Autism Spectrum, created by author Mike Church and children across Gwent.

Moli is beautifully illustrated by Andy O'Rourke and tells a story we can all relate to; Moli is bullied by her peers for her differences, until they realise that there's more that unites than divides us. The book is bilingual and introduces some complicated ideas in a simple and accessible way.

Moli the Cow by PETRA Publishing

Marianna found it easy to follow and had no problem discussing it afterwards. She said that it was sad when Daisy and Delila were mean to Moli, and

Supported by the Gwent Regional Partnership, a copy of the book will be going into all libraries and primary schools across the five authorities. You can pick up a copy of your own at P.E.T.R.A. Publishing, a social enterprise that works with schools and community groups to publish storybooks.

Moli the Cow

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Monday, 14 October 2019

L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Fashion Dolls

MGA Entertainment's L.O.L. Surprise! dolls are kind of ubiquitous these days, with various spin-off lines. This post is about the O.M.G. fashion dolls introduced in 2019. They stand 11 inches (27cm) tall, and are articulated at elbow and wrist - but not at knee or ankle.

LOL OMG Fashion Dolls

★ Swag - box / contents.
★ Royal Bee - box / contents.
★ Neonlicious - box / contents.
★ Lady Diva - box / contents.

LOL OMG Fashion Dolls and Boxes

LOL OMG Winter 2019 Fashion Dolls

The second wave of dolls, 2019's Winter Disco range, included four dolls with their little sisters, plus a special collector's edition doll with light-up backdrop called Crystal Star.

★ Dollie - box / contents.
★ Cosmic Nova - box / contents.
★ 24K DJ - box / contents.
★ Snowlicious - box / contents.
★ Crystal Star - box front / contents / back.

LOL Crystal Star Fashion Doll

LOL Surprise Glamper

Although it doesn't include any fashion dolls, the 2019 L.O.L. Glamper is designed to be used with them, alongside the regular L.O.L. output. The massive L.O.L. Amazing Surprise set included two exclusive O.M.G. fashion dolls: Downtown BB and Uptown.

LOL Amazing Surprise

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Sunday, 13 October 2019

This Week - 13/10/2019

You got this

The IKEA stuff is almost all together now. Almost... Once the chest of drawers is up and in place the house should look less like a bombsite too, which will definitely be a win.

It's been a really quiet week, to be honest. I haven't felt well and the weather has been pretty miserable, so we've been doing lots of crafts and writing practice indoors. Marianna had her school harvest festival on Friday, and on Thursday they all wore yellow to raise money for world mental health day. There were various events going on for it, but my own mental health just was not feeling up to it.

We have done a lot of Welsh this week. I put together two lyric posters for Roedd Gan Ewyrth Ifan Fferm (Uncle Ifan Had a Farm) and Babi Siarc. I downloaded the Duolingo app too and have been powering through the lower levels in Welsh. It's been a long time but it's surprising how much has been coming back to me. I'll do a proper review of it once I've been using it for a few weeks.

On the blog I wrote about Twilight Teens dolls, a bunch of my favourite Time Travel Tales in honour of Curious Events Day, and my top five fears. I got into the top 40 on the Rise parenting bloggers' chart for the first time this week, but who knows how long I'll stay there!

Song of the Week -

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This Week - Weekly Overviews

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Baby Shark - Babi Siarc

Babi Siarc

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Friday, 11 October 2019

Friday Five - Fears

Friday Five


From the reasonable to the ridiculous...

#5. Chalk

And anything that feels like it! Just the thought of it leaving the powder behind on my fingers makes my skin crawl. Even when I'm using pastels for body blushing dolls I have to wear gloves because I couldn't touch it otherwise.

#4. Being Buried Alive

Picking it as a topic to give a paper on at university, looking at its prevalence pre-1900, did nothing to lessen that fear!

#3. The Ring Girl

Sadako, Samara, Eun-Suh... It doesn't really matter which version, just creepy long black haired dead people crawling out of wells. *shiver*

The Ring Well Scene

#2. Suffocating / Drowning

Closely related to #4, but still different enough to merit its own entry. I especially hate 'playful' tricks like getting doused at the pool or whatever. Not cool, people.

#1. Spiders

There will be no pictures!

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